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Intel Corp. has begun to send samples of its next-generation enthusiast-class processors code-named Sandy Bridge E to various third parties for testing. At least several engineering samples of eight-core Intel Core i "Sandy Bridge E" in LGA2011 package are now on sale at Ebay web-site.

The chip marked as "Intel Confidential" has eight cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 20MB of level-three cache and clock-speed of 1.60GHz. The chip has Q19D s-Spec as well as belongs to A4 stepping. The chip is currently on sale at an Ebay auction for roughly $1400, which is considerably higher than the price of today's top-of-the-range Core i7 "Extreme Edition" processor.

The chip seems to belong to Extreme Edition or Xeon versions of Sandy Bridge E-series processors as earlier unofficial sources implied that the consumer enthusiast-class processors will only feature four or six cores. Alternatively, the eight-core silicon may mean that Intel is at least evaluating possibility of releasing eight-core central processing units for consumers in the light of the fact that AMD intends to launch its own eight-core AMD FX-series "Zambezi" processors based on Bulldozer micro-architecture this summer.

Although the chips only work at 1.60GHz and do not support Turbo Core technology, one should be able to easily overclock them in a bid to find out their potential. However, at present final frequencies of Intel's next-generation chips are unknown, hence, it is impossible to evaluate actual performance of the parts. There are more limitations: the ES chip "officially" only supports 1066MHz DDR3 memory.

Since Sandy Bridge E-series microprocessors require LGA2011 mainboards based on Intel X79 core-logic set - which are not available on sale at present - the reasons to buy the chips are not completely clear.

The seller claims to have a good reputation for selling Intel's engineering samples and guarantees that the Intel Confidential Sandy Bridge E-series microprocessors are not dead on arrival.

Intel Sandy Bridge E microprocessors due in Q4 2011 are specifically designed for enthusiasts, who demand maximum performance. For example, the chips will carry "extra large cache" to maximize speed of single-threaded or dual-threaded applications, quad-channel memory controller and a number of other enhancements. Sandy Bridge E chips with four, six or eight cores will be paired with code-named Patsburg core-logic set. Platforms based on the latter will feature external base frequency generators  and clock-speeds of buses like SATA or USB locked. As a result, enthusiasts will be able to boost clock-speed of microprocessors using traditional methods by increasing DMI frequencies, something that will allow them to easily and more efficiently to overclock their CPUs.

Thanks to a number of micro-architectural enhancements of Sandy Bridge, the new line of extreme processors promises to be very fast. It remains to be seen whether six-core Intel processors will be able to outperform eight-core chips from Advanced Micro Devices, which are due to be released in Q2 - Q3 2011.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Intel, Core, Sandy Bridge E, AMD, Zambezi


Comments currently: 10
Discussion started: 05/04/11 02:47:57 PM
Latest comment: 07/09/11 05:46:42 PM
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Looks like it will be an exciting chip. Why anyone would buy this months before some motherboards will start showing up that can use it, I have no idea.
1 0 [Posted by: cashkennedy  | Date: 05/04/11 02:47:57 PM]
- collapse thread

Really exciting ..... intel takes yet another one p-ick move and downclock them to astonishing 1600MHz wooow. Not all of us really have time and money to waste on some salvaged products just to "find ther optimum potential" .... Even 12 core Magny-Cours is faster than this. Yep it's unfair cause it has twelwe cores (boohoo).
0 1 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 05/21/11 04:50:06 PM]
... unfortunately you're a fucking idiot. Congrats, you've been mislead by a misleading article. This is an early engineering sample! And if you weren't such a damn noob you'd know that these low clock speeds are nothing unusual. It's all a part of the usual architecture design and development stage, and final release clocks are always significantly higher.

As for the 12-Core Magny-Cours, how is a processor that can barely keep up with Intel's previous gen architecture (not Sandy Bridge) supposed to outperform Xeon's based on Sandy Bridge-E?

And that's a 12-core Opteron vs a 6-core Xeon running highly optimized multi-thread workloads. Actually I'm willing to bet that 1.6GHz engineering sample probably would outperform a 12-core Opteron with ease. Just another AMD fanboy rage posting on a whim, without giving much thought as to what he's actually saying...
0 0 [Posted by: AMD NOOB  | Date: 07/09/11 05:46:42 PM]

Yep, would be someone with money to burn! as it cant be used until you have a board to use it on.
0 0 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 05/04/11 05:39:38 PM]

Could someone please count the pins and tell me if there are 2011 of them? Thanks in advance :-)

BTW, how can smilies be added to these comments?

BTW2: It's no longer possible to add comments here with Firefox 3.6
0 1 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 05/05/11 11:14:04 AM]
- collapse thread

We have autoreplace ": )" (without spaces) with , "; )" with etc.
As for FF 3.6, I have tested this browser and have not found any troubles. Could you please give me more details on your problem?
0 0 [Posted by: Tester128  | Date: 05/05/11 12:30:26 PM]
I am using Firefox Portable 3.6.17 that I had to install on my work computer to remain functional, as our IT dept doesn't want to let go of IE6 They are too busy spending their time to block access to Facebook, Twitter and a host of other sites

I can type the message alright with FF, but when I click Reply, nothing happens. I had to install Chrome Portable to get around this, since, of course, IE6 doesn't work either.

EDIT: This time, I tried to post with FF 3.6 and it worked. At least, I managed to test a couple of smilies. Thanks.
1 0 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 05/06/11 07:50:38 AM]

How can you guarantee a $1400 part. What's to stop Otellini from ordering it, zapping it with ESD, and then wanting his money back?
0 0 [Posted by: shadowmaster625  | Date: 05/06/11 12:28:44 PM]

that must be one huge chip.

AMD can deliver 8 cores because of the module design (2 cores in the space of 1 + 12%), and do it at speeds well above 3ghz.
8 full sized sandy bridge cores and 20MB of L3 is going to use up a ton of transistors.
i doubt its going to hit 3ghz when released.
1 0 [Posted by: Countess  | Date: 05/06/11 05:02:23 PM]
- collapse thread

Well they need to test huuuge chips just to have proof for powerpoint slides comparison after they release their Knight/Larabee Multi-Core architecture, just to see how comparatively they scale up in terms of power consumption and design hot-spots ..... Woow 20MB of cache only. I hoped (in 2001) that in 32nm we'll have at least 10x more cache than measly 20MB.
0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 05/21/11 04:54:16 PM]


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